Men’s health week

Suicide

Suicide

In the UK, men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women. On average, 12 men in the British isles take their own lives every day.

Suicide is the single biggest killer of men under 45. Yet, it’s not just young men that are at risk, as the highest suicide rate is for men aged 45-49 in the UK.

There are many factors that make men more vulnerable to suicide. Men are often under pressure to appear strong and not show signs of weakness. This means they are less likely to talk about any issues they are facing or seek help when they are struggling with their mental health. Sometimes pride comes into the equation and men may think they can handle their issues on their own or worry about being a burden to others. Men are also more likely to respond to stress with risky behaviour such as abusing alcohol which increases the risk of suicide by up to eight times.

A relationship breakdown has a bigger impact on a man’s suicide risk, than a woman’s – divorced men are three times more likely to commit suicide than their married peers, whereas divorced women show no increased risk.

Warning signs to look out for in yourself and your friends or family include:

  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Experiencing extreme mood swings
  • Drug or alcohol misuse
  • Feelings of anger, hopelessness or disconnection
  • Giving away possessions
  • Giving up previously loved activities
  • Writing goodbye letters.

If you’re worried about suicide you can call the Samaritans free, at any time on 116 123 and if a life is in immediate danger call 999.